When we think of today’s fashion models, what usually comes to mind are extremely thin, tall women who generally aren’t a representation of the average female.
There are of course fashion models who don’t fall into what would be considered the ‘super slim’ category, and while they may not be as mainstream, they are just as beautiful, glamorous and successful. Think along the lines of Kate Upton, Crystal Renn, Sophie Dahl – and more recently, Robyn Lawley.
Born in 1989, Robyn Lawley is an Australian model from the western suburbs of Sydney. She has two older sisters and attended Macarthur Girls High School. When Robyn was 15 she made a visit to a mainstream modelling agency who at the time was ready to add her to their books, however Robyn felt she wasn’t quite ready. After taking a year off she returned and started doing straight size modeling for a year. After finding it hugely challenging to maintain the required size 8, she decided to sign with Bella model management, a ‘plus size’ modelling agency at the age of 18.
She went on to become the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Italian Vogue as well as appear in Vogue Australia the same year (2011). Another of Lawley’s big claims to fame is that she was the first plus-size model to feature in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue as well as the first Australian plus size model to be on the cover of Australian Cosmopolitan.
Interestingly, Robyn revealed that during her shoot for Sports Illustrated was the first time she realized she was pregnant with her first child. She remembers feeling exhausted as well as turned off food which she explained was a huge rarity, so something must have been up. Robyn gave birth to a baby girl named Ripley in February of 2015.
A true role model
As well as creating a number of firsts in the fashion and modelling industry, Robyn is strongly adverse to designers using only skeletal models to display their clothes. Her determination to make changes in the industry have really set her apart as a stand out fashion model as well as a stand out role model.
As well as being well respected in the modelling and fashion industry, Robyn has also made efforts to improve the lives of women and reduce stereotypical societal pressures. She has released her own swimwear line, launched August 2013, appropriate for women from size 8 through to 18, making it easier for full-figured ladies to find gorgeous fashion that fits. Swimwear is often something that makes women feel hugely uncomfortable and body conscious, so a range to suit all sizes, designed by a model, was quite a breakthrough in terms of normalizing different body shapes.
Healthy food, healthy body
Robyn also released a cookbook in 2014, called ‘Robyn Lawley Eats’. ‘Her cookbook was inspired by her love of cooking and memories created around the kitchen table. Some of her most most treasured memories are from helping her grandmother and mother prepare the family’s favorite dishes.
Robyn also shares her joy of food and cooking on her hugely successful blog site.
Work what you’ve got
Robyn advises women who may be struggling with body image issues to try their best to accept their natural body weight. She encourages women to work with what they have rather than fighting their natural shape to be something that they’re not. Some of her inspirational advice includes exercising not to be smaller, but to become stronger while doing something fun that you love.
Her body-positive work has not gone unrecognised. Robyn was voted the winner of the Australian Cosmopolitan Fun, Fearless Female, Rising Star Award in 2011. She was also selected in the same year for Sydney Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People, and in June 2013, Robyn was awarded Model of the Year during the Full Figured Fashion Week. She is adamant her career has improved in leaps and bounds since making the switch from straight size modelling to ‘plus size’ modelling. She is well respected for her work in the industry and has also written a number of well-received body image articles.
Robyn Lawley is evidence that that you don’t have to be a size zero to be glam and gorgeous. Unafraid to flaunt her curves in an industry that usually celebrates models half her size.
EziBuy are proud to have had Robyn model for our clothing range at the beginning of her career.
Do you have any other plus-sized role models that you take inspiration from? Share them below